Reliable daycare options have become more important than ever for families around the world, especially given school closures, lockdowns, and other COVID-19 responses. Many of these policies have meant that parents have had to seek out daycare options or put their careers on hold to be with children while they learn remotely from home.
However, that isn’t the only reason why daycare is such a fast-growing industry today. As more families have had both parents entering the workforce, finding quality daycare options has become increasingly important. In fact, the size of the total daycare market in the US is estimated to be worth approximately $54.9 billion. The size of the daycare industry to expected to grow about 2.2% in 2022, and some experts predict an even larger rate of growth thanks to government investment and social trends.
Given the growth of the industry, forward-thinking daycare centers are exploring all sorts of tools and technologies that allow them to provide better care and stand out from the competition. Software solutions that allow daycare centers to process payments, keep children safe, and schedule daycare activities have emerged as powerful tools to enable what is often known as smartcare in the industry. The term refers to childcare that is empowered through technology and modernization.
Considering the explosive potential of daycare management software, it’s no surprise that many investors are chomping at the bit to reap the rewards and future profits associated with the growth in the space. Let’s explore a few reasons why daycare management is the next big industry for profit growth in the industry.
One of the most promising features of daycare management software is its ability to process the payments of parents and customers on behalf of daycare facilities. That’s a big deal since billing is one of the most time-consuming parts of running a daycare center. Moreover, it’s important to protect parents’ security when processing payments, which is why daycare management software provides tools to process payments.
Daycare managers can set up recurring payments so that parents are charged at regular intervals and receive receipts for their transactions by email, automating the billing process and streamlining customer service efforts. These transactions can be automatically logged by the software and uploaded or synced with accounting software to make bookkeeping a synch.
Different daycare management software will offer payment processing options such as Electronic Fund Transfer (ETF) and ACH transfers. Some daycare management software can be programmed to use third-party payment processors through their Application Programming Interface (API.) This represents an alternative for companies that want to use independent payment processors that could be more secure.
Most daycare management software will also feature a visual dashboard or interface that administrators can use to keep track of all relevant billing information. This allows owners to keep their financial information organized and easily accessible online.
Affordable Costs for Daycare Centers
Most daycare management software is quite affordable and many even offer a freemium model in which users only pay for certain upgraded features. Other software solutions bill based on the number of customers that are serviced through the software.
The majority of daycare management software simply charges a flat, monthly fee to daycare providers that can easily fit within their quarterly budgets. This is a relief for many parents who are coping with the high costs of raising a child.
More premium daycare management options such as Procare don’t list their pricing information and instead require users to submit a price request form on their website. However, to give you some context, Procare users can expect a tiered pricing plan that ranges from $69 per month on the low end to $109 per month on the higher end.
Yet other daycare management software offers price breakdowns by child, with Kindertales, for example, charging $2 per child per month for their standard plan and $4 per child per month for their premium plan.
More sophisticated systems such as Procare also offer hardware solutions that allow for the daycare center to accept payments through a physical POS system. The affordability of daycare management systems could allow many centers to cut their costs and offer lower prices to parents, which is a pressing need in many states.
Regardless of the budget and goals of each daycare provider, they will be able to find a daycare management system that fits within their budget, which is why these powerful software solutions have such a potential for growth and profit.
Enhancing Child Safety
Another important contribution that daycare management systems are making is to keep children safe, supported, and motivated. Many solutions offer the ability to schedule activities or curriculum for children, and some even have child monitoring capacities.
Software solutions like Brightwheel are well-known for providing detailed monitoring tools such as video recordings and photos of children that can be sent to parents upon request. Food tracking procedures can also be configured to give parents and care centers greater control over childrens’ diets and make sure they are eating healthy.
Activity reports that detail childrens’ activities in real-time can be generated for parents, as can daily reports that cover all of the things the child did that day. This provides parents a greater sense of control and security when it comes to their children’s daily life.
Facilitating Developmental Goals and Daycare Administration
Many daycare management systems offer distance learning options that give parents lesson plans which allow them to continue helping their children learn after they get home from daycare. These features can ensure continuity in children’s learning and developmental goals and provide the resources they need to complete homework assignments. It is no surprise, therefore, that some of the best daycare centers are making use of this innovative software.
Daycare management software can even collect data on children’s developmental or learning progress which can be used internally to refine daycare policies, and sent to parents.
Daycare centers can also use software to accomplish day-to-day management tasks. This includes running payroll to make sure that the staff is paid securely and on time. The software can be configured to allow only certain staff members access to specific software features, which ensures security.
Daycare management systems can even help with the difficult task of hiring enough workers to run a daycare. Staff can also log their hours into the software which makes it easy to organize how much work has been completed by each staff member each week.
Daycare management software can even play a role in facilitating increased sales and onboarding for daycare centers. Parents can enroll their children electronically through the software, as well as submit any required paperwork or documentation. This documentation can be stored internally for easy access at a later point.
Sandra Chiu works as Director at LadyBug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.